It was the second such tragedy in five months, following an October crash of another Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Indonesia that killed 189 passengers and crew on Lion Air Flight 610.
According to a preliminary report released by the Indonesian air safety investigative agency, the crash was due to a software failure of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Lion Air 610 crashed because a faulty sensor erroneously reported that the plane was stalling. The false report of a stall triggered an automated system that tried to point the aircraft's nose down so that it could gain enough speed to fly safely.
Software failures impact our lives. The only difference is the severity of the outcome. Whereas when something goes wrong with the software in your cellphone or desktop computer the impact is minimal, other glitches can prove deadly.
These incidents should serve as a wake-up call for software-driven industries. Everything today is being automated as society and industry adopt the Internet of Things and software. What that means is that every object that we interact with will be driven by software and the internet. It also means that we will have less control of everyday objects.